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Children and Families Act 2014 receives royal assent

10 April 2014

The new Children and Families Act received royal assent on 14 March 2014. This introduces a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and includes new family friendly measures. Changes include:

  • from April 2015, mothers, fathers and adopters may choose to share parental leave following their child’s birth or placement. This may be taken consecutively or at the same time
  • from 1 October 2014, prospective fathers or a mother’s partner may take time off to attend up to 2 antenatal appointments
  • adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015 - no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments. Intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay
  • extending the right to request flexible working to all employees from 30 June 2014
  • replacing the current statutory procedure, through which employers consider flexible working requests, with a duty on employers to consider requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner

Joanna Lada-Walicki